Malaysia is in the “Doing Better” category for social investment.

Do you know what it takes to determine a country’s potential for philanthropy and private social investments? Recently, the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS) conducted a Doing Good Index (DGI) workshop in Bangkok, Thailand from 18th – 19th January 2018. We were there to exchange our experiences and challenges during the data collection phase as well as sharing the findings, composed in four main areas of the study that included tax and fiscal policy, regulatory regimes, socio-cultural ecosystem, and government procurement.

Representing Malaysia, there were two organisations which are ourselves, Youth Trust Foundation (myHarapan) and Yayasan Hasanah. We are grateful to be able to discuss the challenges faced during the data collection phase, ways to disseminate the findings in our country and area of improvements for the upcoming DGI survey.

It was great to also have organisations from our neighbour countries, for example, The Institut for Societal Leadership at Singapore Management University, of Singapore, Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation of Philippines, and Research Center for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) of  Vietnam.

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15 economies (countries) were involved in the data collection: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam and the survey was translated into 11 languages. Overall, the total number of respondents was 1579 responses from Asian economies (Malaysia: 122 responses in particular from NGOs/Foundations/Social Entrepreneurs).

At the event, it was announced that Malaysia is one of the countries in the “Doing Better” category.  This indicates, in terms of the distance left to travel toward a conducive environment for doing good, we are doing better. Yet, there is ample room for improvement and learn from others on how to do well to close the distance. Even the economies in the “Doing Well” category surprisingly have yet to reach its full potential.

We are particularly doing well in two sub-indexes which are Regulations and Ecosystem, as the result of the key findings. The regulations sub-index evaluates laws and policies pertaining to philanthropic activity to examine some of the practicalities around what makes the giving and receiving of social investments. While the ecosystem sub-index maps the supportive environment for giving of philanthropic funds and the delivery of services through four groups of indicators: Public perception, institutional recognition, talent infrastructure and good governance.

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The two-day event consisted of four sessions namely, Maximizing Asia’s Potential, Feedback on the Doing Good Index Survey and Data Collection, Diversified Resource Mobilization: Self-Governing of CSOs in Vietnam and Dissemination Strategy for the Doing Good Index respectively.

During these sessions, few aspects of the data collection process have been discussed for improvement in the future. Besides, the three challenges faced during the survey was identified; length of the survey, time constraint and the content of the survey (sensitive questions especially for financial part and some questions that were not related to a few countries – Vietnam and Myanmar).

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The deliberation on session 4 was to ensure and agreed upon, that each economy will do a sharing session at events, talk sessions or press conferences in their respective countries and do more research for the next data collection process.

It was such a great opportunity to be given this trust and role of representing Malaysia for this research project.

Therefore, stay tuned for the next update!

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For the full report, please visit http://www.caps.org/our-research/doing-good-index-2018.

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